Now I’m talking Fairy Liquid baby, cotton based fluffy bum, not, well, whatever the alternative would be! That’s right, cloth nappies. When I first started looking into cloth nappies, I pretty much thought there was one type and I would just find out where to get them and then buy some. So naive! What I thought would be an easily navigated path to financial and environmental sustainability turned into a wade through a confusing swamp of information. I still occasionally find myself sinking somewhat, despite three years of (at times obsessive) research and two years of hands on experience. Do I regret the decision I made? Not at all! I love my, sorry, Little Bean’s nappies and let me tell you why.
1 – better for baby
What better reason does a person need! Disposable nappies are filled with all sorts of plastics and scary chemicals. Polyacrylic acid is a Super Absorbent Polymer, it’s so absorbent that it has been found to draw moisture from poor baby’s skin leading to nappy rash and bleeding. It has also been banned from use in tampons due to its connection with Toxic Shock Syndrome and employees working with the stuff can suffer from female organ damage, fatigue and weight loss. Despite all this, no long term studies have been carried out to check the risks to babies who are exposed to it 24/7 in the form off a super absorbent, super convenient nappy. Tribulytin, another substance found in disposables, is known to negatively affect both the immune and hormonal systems. And these are put in a product which is then placed next to the most sensitive and absorbent part of the body. No wonder that a study by Proctor and Gamble found that incidences of nappy rash rose from 7% to 61% when disposable nappies became the norm.
2 – better for the environment
The best (and only positive) thing about disposable nappies is that they can go from baby’s bum straight in the bin, easy peasy. But where do they go from there? The same place most of our household waste goes, landfill. Disposable nappies make up an estimated 355,000 tonnes of waste per year, costing local authorities £32 million per year for the convenience of binning it. That’s not the end of the nappy though. According to the Women’s Health Network, it will take 200-500 years for a disposable to decompose. That’s a lot of nappies hanging around for heck of a long time! And those nasty chemicals and plastics that we talked about earlier, they end up in the earth and in the water cycle.
3 – better for the purse
Of course less nappies going in the bin also means less nappies to buy. A baby will need approximately 2000 nappies per year. With most babies potty training between the ages of 2 and 3 they could be going through anything from 4000 to 6000 nappies in their pre toileting lives. The average disposable costs 16p, amounting to between £640 to nearly £1000 spent on nappies. Nappy for nappy cloth does cost more than a disposable but I reckon I spent between £200 and £300 on my stash, saving at least £340. As a parent, it’s not like I don’t have better things to spend my money on.
So there you have it, the lowdown on why I decided to go cloth and fluff up my baby.
You can get 10% off at The Nappy Gurus by following this reference link. And you can help me out at the same time, win win!